Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Dearly Departed Wayne

Last week, in the blog entry entitled Waxing Nostalgic, I spoke of Wayne. Tonight I will tell you about Wayne. Those of us that worked together at Aunt Sonya's (way back when) used to hang out together on Sunday evenings at the Rose Bowl tavern. We worked our butts off every weekend, especially if there was an Illini home game, so we needed to unwind. There's no better place to unwind than the Rose Bowl; it has been called a "townie, redneck, dusty, hole-in-the-wall bar that nonetheless has charm". Sounds about right. Anyhow, our favorite band, Gator Alley, always played on Sunday nights. After enough drinks, we would sing back up for the band! We were unofficially known as "The Gatorettes". Needless to say, we were regulars!
Wayne came into our lives as we were celebrating Char's birthday [her 29th, I think ;-) ]. Wayne was from Las Vegas and he was introduced to us by Roxy, one of our co-workers. He was to be Char's date for the evening. We liked to dance and we never had enough guys around for the slow songs, so Wayne's presence was greatly appreciated. He was a horrible dresser and wore a goofy smile on his face. Although he was a man of few words, he knew how to party! He even laid on the floor, allowing us to "conga" over him. Wayne was so popular that other women kept asking him to dance. It got to be very annoying. Wayne hung out with us on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, Wayne took turns staying with all of us as he was from out-of-town and did not have anywhere to live at the time. Besides, it wasn't a party without Wayne!
We were fortunate enough to have Wayne in our lives for about 6 months before he was tragically taken from us in an accident at Hessel Park. It happened while we were having a picnic during a concert in the park; Gator Alley was playing (of course). When the band realized what had happened, they had a moment of silence for Wayne. They, too, had grown quite fond of him. No one knew how to react to his passing for life was never the same. For a long time after, we reminisced about our time with Wayne. Whenever we spoke of him, those who hadn't had the pleasure of knowing him, would lament their misfortune. After telling one of our "Wayne" stories, one person commented, "I want to party with you!". We had to tell her that no party would ever be the same without Wayne.
Hopefully, this story wasn't too sad because I need you to know that Wayne was a blow-up doll. He looked like Wayne Newton but was not anatomically correct (as far as we know). Roxy's brother picked him up in Vegas. We did enjoy our time with Wayne. He was a great dance partner and he never talked back. He was always up for anything. Wayne's tragic accident happened because Roxy got carried away and bit a hole in him! As he deflated, he flew up onto the stage where the band was playing. Hence, the moment of silence! We had many good times with Wayne and (somewhere) there are incriminating photos to prove it. Guess I can never be President! A toast to the good, 'ole days and the gang from Aunt Sonya's!

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